Two Views: Developing a color cosmetics palette

By Deanna Utroske contact

- Last updated on GMT

expert opinion column Two Views developing a color cosmetics palette
For this installment of Two Views, Cosmetics Design reached out to two creative professionals—Michelle Rotbart, who works with an agency, and Marisa Fazzina, who works independently—to weigh in about the data, knowledge, and intuition that goes into developing a color palette.

Trends are fleeting, consumers are finicky, and pigments are limited. Still, beauty startups and legacy brands alike put together exciting color collections at what can seem like a very quick pace. And it’s often creative pros like Michelle Rotbart, a trend analyst at Doneger Creative Services, and freelancer Marisa Fazzina that help make it happen.

Michelle Rotbart, Trend Analyst at Doneger Creative Services

“When it comes to choosing a color palette each season there is much to consider. Color can be quite subjective but there are several guidelines to follow when developing a successful scheme.

“Design is an ever-evolving industry and at Doneger Creative Services we start each season by mapping out where the industry is going and where it came from. We consider lifestyle shifts, market data, and the newest emerging insights and movements.

“It’s also important to watch retail as a guideline for when a color family or tone is saturated; usually that’s an indicator to evolve and develop the new color. In terms of cosmetics, a good example is the shift from sheers to more saturated color. Right now we’re seeing a lot of translucent shades, but come next season we’ll see a shift into more opulent and metallic based hues.

“The most important aspect of the process is communication with the client. We do our best to encourage each client towards a more forward direction, but also keep in mind what’s important to their consumer base.”

Marisa Fazzina, freelance beauty creative, serves as a member of the Color Association of United States’ beauty forecasting committee

“When developing a color story, my approach varies depending on the type of project. If it’s forecasting, I’m compiling data for insight two years into the future, so fashion, art, technology, science, and global news all make a contribution. If the lead time is shorter, utilizing trend reports and observing runway, street, and social media trends are very relevant.

“To edit the information into a cohesive color story or mood board, my creative intuition comes into play along with the brand's identity, because there must be a connection.

“At the point of shade selection, choosing which colors and textures should be included in a palette or collection relies more on my artistic sensibility and experience as a makeup artist, which is invaluable. Working with a wide range of skin tones has given me a great understanding of the nuances and challenges of color on the face. It’s important to offer seasonal color trends; but to be successful, a product shouldn’t just look good in a package. It must also perform well and compliment the consumer.”

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